Kalnik – Igrišče

Settlement, town, county: Kalnik, Križevci, Koprivnica-Križevci County

Site type: stratified settlement

Period: Copper Age, Late Bronze Age, Early Iron Age, Antiquity, Middle Ages

Type of excavation: systematic

Institution: Institute of Archaeology

Excavation manager: Dr Snježana Karavanić

The Kalnik-Igrišče archaeological site is situated in the protected landscape of Mount Kalnik at around 500 m above sea level. The first systematic archaeological excavations were carried out in the period 1988-1990 (Archaeological Department of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in collaboration with the Križevci Municipal Museum, managed by Prof Nives Majnarić-Pandžić). This site, Kalnik-Igrišče 1, yielded the remains of a settlement dating from the 13th-11th century BC. That casting activity was practiced in the settlement is borne out by fragments of metal-casting moulds, remains of slag and abundant utilitarian bronze objects. In 2011, a Copper Age layer with pottery of the Lasinja culture was discovered at the same position.

The excavations were resumed in 2006 by the Institute of Archaeology in Zagreb. A stratified site discovered on a prominent plateau yielded finds from Antiquity (3rd and 4th century), Late La Tène and the Late Bronze Age. A part of a prehistoric settlement from the Late Bronze Age was uncovered, together with a well-preserved house. In addition to an abundance of pottery and everyday utilitarian objects made of clay and stone, the Late Bronze Age house yielded a large quantity of carbonized cereal grains, pulses and weeds. The remains of wild apple and acorn suggest that the inhabitants of Kalnik were not only growing plants, but also collected them in the surrounding forest for their diet. Carbonized remains of food were analysed as part of a dissertation at the Department of Botany, Faculty of Science in Zagreb (Dr Sara Mareković).

A part of the assemblage was published in a foreign publication by the project manager: “The Urnfield Culture in Continental Croatia”, Oxford 2009.

An extensive field survey of the southern slopes of Mount Veliki Kalnik was carried out in 2012 as part of the research of the wider context of the Bronze Age settlement. In 2003, geophysical measurements were carried out at several positions at Igrišče. Archaeological investigations are underway.


  • Majnarić-Pandžić, N. 1992, Ljevaonica brončanih predmeta u kasnobrončanodobnom naselju na Kalniku kod Križevaca, Opuscula archaeologica, 16, 57–73.
  • Vrdoljak, S. 1994, Tipološka klasifikacija kasnobrončanodobne keramike iz naselja Kalnik-Igrišče (SZ Hrvatska), Opuscula archaeologica, 18, 7–83.
  • Vrdoljak, S. Forenbaher, S. 1995, Bronze-casting and organization of production at Kalnik-Igrišče (Croatia), Antiquity, 69, 577–82.
  • Karavanić, S. 2009, The Urnfield Culturen in continental Croatia, BAR International Series 2036, Oxford.
  • Karavanić, S., Kudelić, A. 2016, Kalnik – Igrišče – rezultati arheoloških iskopavanja u 2015. godini/ Kalnik-Igrišče – results of archaeological excavations in 2015, Annales Instituti archaeologici XII, 117-121.
  • Mareković, S., Šoštarić, R., Karavanić, S., Kudelić, A. 2015, The botanical macroremains from prehistoric settlement Kalnik-Igrišče (NW Croatia) in the context of current knowledge about cultivation and plant consumption in Croatia and neighbouring countries during the Bronze Age, Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae, Vol 84, 2015, 227-235, Current Contents
  • Karavanić, Kudelić, Mareković, Šoštarić 2015. Tragovi prošlosti na Kalniku – sačuvani u vatri, CRIS XVII 2015, Križevci, 116-127.
  • Karavanić, S. Kudelić, A. Karavidović, T. 2015, Rezultati arheološkog iskopavanja lokaliteta Kalnik – Igrišče 2014. godine. Annales Instituti archaeologici XI, 59-62.
  • Karavanić, S., Kudelić, A. 2014, Arheološka i geofizička istraživanja na lokalitetu Kalnik-Igrišče 2013. godine, Annales Instituti archaeologici X, 110-115.
  • Karavanić, S., Kudelić, A 2013, Rezultati arheoloških istraživanja lokaliteta Kalnik – Igrišče, Annales Instituti archaeologici IX, 88-92.


View of Kalnik from the south
Plan of the Late Bronze Age house with finds of cereal grains
Archaeological excavations at Kalnik-Igrišče in 2011
Geophysical measurements at Kalnik-Igrišče in 2013
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